By Bose Orogun
Hon. Mba Emmanuel is the Director, Social Media and Deputy Director, Media and Publicity, Re-elect Buhari Movement (RBM). In this interview, Emmanuel speaks on the objectives of the body and why President Muhammadu Buhari deserves to be re-elected in 2019.
What is the objective of the RE-elect Buhari Movement and how long has the organisation been in existence?
Our primary objective is to drive the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari. We operate all over the federation. The group operates in the six geo-political zones of the country. Thus, we have it in the North -East, North-Central, North-West, South-South, South-East and South-West zones. We have a unique structure to ensure that we cover every part of the federation.
Each zone has a Coordinator. The Coordinators, in turn, appoint State Coordinators who are in charge of each state and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The State Coordinators, in turn, appoint Local Government Supervisors, who in turn appoint Ward Supervisors. The essence is to cover the federation. So, I can tell you that we have the RBM in all the 744 local governments and the FCT. At the top, we have the National Coordinator and the Convener.
You said that the Re-elect Buhari Movement has members across political parties. Does that also include members of the People’s Democratic Party?
No. We do not have Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as RBM members. But I have to add that the Re-elect Buhari Movement has supporters even in the Diaspora to project the agenda and good governance of President Muhammadu Buhari. This is to ensure that people in the Diaspora know what the President is doing. Thus, we have people in the Diaspora who are saying what we are saying now.
To what extent would you say that the objectives of the organization as you enumerated have been met?
The Re-elect Buhari Movement was formed early this year. It has a central register for each state. The Coordinators go to the local governments and supervise those who go to the wards to identify supporters of Buhari. That proves that we have people who support the re-election of the President. That way, we mobilize support for the re-election of the President.
Why do you think Buhari deserves re-election?
Buhari deserves to be re-elected because of the good governance principles he is putting in place. We support his re-election because of his efforts to restore sanity in the Nigerian system.
What do you consider as the major achievements of the Buhari administration?
Let me, first of all, say that from the reports we are getting from the Zonal Coordinators, all the projects being handled by the administration, both completed and on-going, we take their pictures to authenticate them for the purpose of using them to mobilize support for the re-election of Buhari. From our findings, the administration has achieved a lot in the areas of agriculture and road construction. Even projects started by the former administration are not left out. The projects include the Second Niger Bridge.
To what extent would you say work has gone on the Second Niger Bridge?
Work on the Second Niger Bridge is progressing. The job is starting from the land. We do not report hearsay. We take pictures of projects. When work is going on, our pictures indicate that.
Critics say Buhari’s anti-corruption war is one-sided. What is your view?
Those who say that are politically biased. Buhari is not one-sided in his anti-corruption war. As he deals with southerners, so also he deals with northerners. He tackles anyone found to be corrupt, no matter where he or she comes from. But because people are biased, they hear more of what the opposition is talking.
But it is said that the anti-corruption war is targeted at members of the opposition and that if someone is an All Progressives Congress (APC) member, such a person is a sacred cow, even if he is enmeshed in corruption.
That claim is false. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) only recently raided Kogi State which is the APC stronghold. Even people who served in his government and found wanting have been dealt with, including ministers and other top officials. When there are allegations, the President investigates and people go through the allegations to establish if they are true. That is done before the EFCC goes after such people.
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) seems to be Buhari’s strongest opponent so far. What does the Re-elect Buhari Movement feel about Atiku’s candidature?
The opposition tries to run down Buhari. That is the type of politics we play in Nigeria. It is not possible that Atiku will defeat Buhari. A lot of things are working and speaking against Atiku. We know what happened when he was Vice President under former President Olusegun Obasanjo. We also know what happened in the United States. Although he has a university, no poor man can send his children there. If he is allowed to be President, he will not remember the poor. Buhari, unlike Atiku, is not like that.
One of the things Nigerians have been clamouring for is restructuring, which Atiku has promised he will do if elected, but which Buhari has not done. What is your view on restructuring?
It is not true that Buhari does not support restructuring. But everything is procedural. Everything is done step by step. Buhari does not jump from one thing to another. The President Buhari has not spoken against restructuring. But he follows due process. If there will be restructuring, there will be a process. When the issue is properly presented, he will handle it and at the appropriate time.